Delicate cherry blossom macarons, filled with a vegan sakura cherry blossom frosting and a fresh strawberry center. A wonderful floral and fruit macaron pairing perfect for the spring season! Dairy Free & Gluten Free.
French Macaron Shells:
- 106 grams of almond meal
- 106 grams powdered sugar
- 41 and 45 grams of egg whites divided
- 115 grams of granulated sugar
- 78 grams of water
- dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
- Pink gel food coloring
- 1 piping bag fitted with round tip (Wilton 12)
- Silicone mat
Dairy Free Sakura Cherry Blossom Frosting:
- 1 cups organic shortening or vegan butter (you can also use regular butter)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
- 2 1/2 tsp quality sakura cherry blossom powder. (more for stronger sakura flavor)
- 1 tbsp alternative milk.
Fresh strawberry sakura filling:
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) fresh strawberries diced.
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp sakura powder
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly.
- Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
- Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 12.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silpat or a silicone mat.
- Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix together to break up clumps.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 41 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Add pink food coloring and fold together until fully incorporated. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
For the sugar syrup:
- To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
- Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 45 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
- Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, then continue whisking.
- If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
- Watch the sugar syrup closely.
- As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
- Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
- Then increase the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and medium peaks form and the meringue has cooled.
- Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
- Continue to fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and even ribbons of batter slowly run off the spatula in one stream.
- **Be careful not to over-mix**
- You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
- Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s).
- Pipe 1 inch rounds on the silpat lined baking sheet (s).
- Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds.
- *Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
- *Pop any air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface, using a scribe or a toothpick.
- Before placing the macs in the oven, let them rest until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Test by touching the center of the piped macaron batter with a clean finger. They should be dry to touch with no batter coming off on fingers.
- Preheat oven to 305 degrees F.
- Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
- Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
- Bake for 13-14 minutes.
- You can open the oven and wiggle gently from side to side towards the end of baking to see if they need more time. A fully baked macaron should be sturdy when tested.
- Once fully baked, remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes to 30 minutes before removing the shells from the silpat.
- Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from silpat.
- Repeat same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter.
- They’re ready to assemble
Sakura Cherry Blossom Frosting (dairy free vegan):
- Wash the mixing bowl, then cream shortening/or butter and powdered sugar, together for 2- 3 minutes.
- Then mix in vanilla bean, sakura powder, alternative milk and salt on medium until well combined.
- Transfer sakura filling to piping bag fitted with a round tip and set aside until ready to decorate.
Fresh Strawberry Sakura Filling:
- Pour strawberries, water and lemon juice into a small saucepan and cook heat over medium high, until mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in sugar, sakura powder stirring until well combined.
- Transfer to a heat proof bowl to cool and set aside for macaron assembly.
- Line up the macaron shells, then flip the bottom shell feet side up.
- Pipe a thick layer of creamy sakura frosting along the outside edge of the bottom shell leaving a space for strawberry filling.
- Fill the space in the center with strawberry filling, then pipe a small dollop of frosting in the center of the strawberry filling, topping with second macaron shell.
- Repeat steps for all macarons.
- Transfer to fridge for 12 to 24 hours to mature (or at least 2).
- Let macarons come to room temp for 10-15 minutes prior to serving.
- Enjoy within 2-3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Sub vegan frosting for any frosting of choice. White chocolate ganache would also work.
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